Budget Office: 23 Million Would Lose Insurance Under New Health Care Law

Frederick Owens
May 25, 2017

Although it's the late changes to the individual market that changed the cost and coverage estimates at the Congressional Budget Office, it's the changes to the Medicaid program that will affect providers the most.

By 2026, the CBO estimates that 51 million people will be uninsured, compared with 28 million uninsured if the Affordable Care Act remains in place.

The bill still contains nearly $1 trillion in tax cuts, mainly for the wealthy. The CBO's assessment shows that while the deficit would fall and premiums would also fall for some Americans, but it raises potential concerns about the bill.

Or put another way, if the House GOP plan became law, the ranks of the American uninsured would jump next year by 14 million Americans. This is the AHCA's second scoring by the CBO, which released its first report in March. All in all, 51 million people under the age of 65 would be without coverage by 2026, including those now uninsured.

"Over time, it would become more hard for less healthy people (including people with preexisting medical conditions) in those states to purchase insurance", the CBO projected.

In the states that don't request waivers, average premiums would be about 4% lower than under Obamacare.

The $119 billion deficit reduction represents a decline from previous versions.

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The $119 billion in savings - critical to the Republican-only passage strategy in the Senate - is lower than the $150 billion in projected savings before the compromise, because the bill sends waiver states some funding to soften the impact for customers who would be faced with higher costs. It forecast that states encompassing about half the USA population would not seek waivers at all, and those with one-third of the population would seek limited waivers that would reduce average premiums but raise costs for people with medical needs.

The bill would eliminate most Obamacare taxes that help subsidize private health coverage for individuals, roll back the government's Medicaid health plan for the poor and disabled and replace the law's income-based tax credits for buying medical coverage with credits based on age.

One-sixth of Americans live in states that CBO expects to pursue broad waivers from those Obamacare rules.

It gets worse. The new report that because the Republican proposal guts protections for essential-health benefits, people living in effected states "would experience substantial increases in out-of-pocket spending on health care or would choose to forgo the services".

A group of 13 Republican senators led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are expected to draft their own version of the healthcare bill in the coming months. "Over time, it would become more hard for less healthy people (including people with preexisting medical conditions) in those states to purchase insurance because their premiums would continue to increase rapidly".

Material from Reuters was used in this report.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) that the bill would be passed to the senate for a vote in the coming weeks last Friday. The largest increases in the deficit would come from repealing or modifying tax provisions in the ACA that are not directly related to health insurance coverage-such as repealing a surtax on net investment income, repealing annual fees imposed on health insurers, and reducing the income threshold for determining the tax deduction for medical expenses.

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